EDITOR’S COLUMN: An unconventional partnership

by Oscar Hemer

Untimeliness may not seem like a desirable quality. Who but an eccentric would wish to be at odds with the times? Yet, according to Chilean literary scholar Idelber Avelar (1999), the untimely – that which runs against the grain of the present – is the constitutive quality of the literary. It gives literature the unique ability to look back and look forward at the same time. To be untimely is perhaps not an aspiration for ComDev, although it may have appeared so at the time of its planning and establishing as a master course at Malmö University around the turn […]

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In this issue (December 2010)

by Florencia Enghel

Late in October, when I tried to log into the Glocal Times website to start uploading the contents of this, the 15th issue, the logon didn’t work. The explanations provided by Malmö University’s ComDev web developer referred to ‘a persistent bug’ and to the server (or the service?) having been hacked. This may not strike the reader as significant news while Wikileaks is the hot topic, with the whistle-blowing group releasing classified U.S. State Department diplomatic cables in partnership with a global group of renowned media outlets –Great Britain’s “The Guardian”, Spain’s “El País”, the US’ “The New York Times”, […]

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Meta-research of development communication studies, 1997-2006

by Hemant Shah

The field of development communication in the United States has been in ferment almost from the moment of its conception. Lerner’s foundational study, Modernizing the Middle East: The Passing of Traditional Society (1958), which established the idea of using mass communication to aid in the process of moving individuals and societies from traditional to modern, was not received with universal acclaim and acceptance among American scholars, as it seems now common to assume. Among the critics, one faulted the book for “generalizing on the basis of meager particulars” (Salem, 1959) and another thought it was full of uninformed political judgments […]

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Participatory development communication: between rhetoric and reality

by Soledad Muñiz

Does Participatory Development Communication (PDC) create dialogue and empowerment? This is the main question that the research I carried out for my dissertation at the University of Reading in 2008 searched to answer. My analysis of PDC as a phenomenon within communication for development focused on community-based level interventions in Latin America and Africa, which use participatory video or participatory photography and group discussion as the main tools of action with the intention to create dialogue and empowerment. This article reflects on some of my research findings.

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City Sisters navigating the Glocal Mediascapes in Dar es Salaam

by Ylva Ekström

While I did research about the changing media scene in Dar es Salaam and its relation to youth in the city and youth culture during a number of fieldwork periods between 1999 and 2005, a topic was “in the air”. The comic strip below by Tanzanian cartoonist Fred Halla serves to illustrate this topic quite well. It narrates the idea that years back, the young Tanzanian woman was expected to obey the strict conventions of society, here symbolically maintained by an older man with a stick, enforcing the performance of proper and respectable femininity. She was expected to live up to […]

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Getting it together

by Sida’s Department for Methodologies and Aid Effectiveness

In April 2010, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) released a Guidance Note entitled “Getting it together: Strengthening transparency, accountability, participation and non-discrimination with communication methods”. The document’s purpose is to provide recommendations on when and how communication can be used as a means to promote enhanced accountability, transparency and citizen participation without discrimination, understood as requirements for aid and development effectiveness. Methods for enabling inhabitants in a country to influence the work of government and public bodies are in focus.

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Book critique by Skype: academics take on practitioners

by Wendy Quarry and Ricardo Ramirez

When you publish you feel a bit exposed. If you write in a personal style it feels like you are sharing your personal journal with people you don’t know. You cannot help but wonder how your writing will be received. Last year we published a book that is both personal and reflective: Communication for another development: Listening before telling (Zed Books, 2009). By doing this, we knew we were laying ourselves open to all kinds of review. Mostly (phew), we can say the experience has not been too stressful.

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